SELECTMEN’S MEETING

NOVEMBER 17, 2003

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

Selectman Rogers, Selectman Wiksten, Selectman Eayrs, and Selectwoman Brunelle were present.

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of November 10, 2003.

Unanimous Vote.

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED: To approve the Executive Minutes of November 10, 2003.

Unanimous Vote.

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

Hearing – DEP Title V Regulations for Onsite Septic Systems

Chairman Perkins opened the hearing.

Jeanne Spalding was present. She explained that the Board had, in the past, discussed the 60-minutes perc rate that the DEP will implement as of January 1, 2004.

After reviewing this, noting limited resources to implement the new regulations, the Board determined the current rates should be maintained.

Selectman Rogers noted that DEP is arguing for a new change from the existing rate of 30 minutes to 60 minutes. He said that large tracks of land, not previously considered buildable, would have massive leaching fields. He said it was not fully understood how this would impact the Town.

Ms. Spalding said the regs are being changed for "affordable housing". She said the systems are large and costly, and difficult to monitor.

Resident Betty Murphy asked what would happen to houses already needing Title 5.

Ms. Spalding said the regs are for new construction, not existing repairs.

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectman Rogers, the Board

VOTED: To adopt the existing 30 minute perc rate for onsite septic systems.

Unanimous Vote.

Selectman Rogers asked that Town Counsel review the motion to be sure it’s correct.

Ms. Spalding said there were two (2) other issues she wanted the Board to consider for future discussion. She told of problems with escrow accounts when there is a transfer of ownership. She said there are three (3) ongoing now. She hoped that something could be worked out for the future.

The other issue was in regards to the current codes for Title 5 Inspections. Under this, cesspools pass. Usually, they fail within 6 months to one year after. She said surrounding towns have passed additional regulations.

Chairman Perkins asked Ms. Spalding to put together her recommendations with facts and figures.

Public Hearing – Sunday Liquor Licenses

Chairman Perkins read the following: "The Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on Monday, November 17, 2003, at 7:20 PM, in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room in the Town Hall, 10 Nickerson Avenue, Middleborough, MA, for the purpose of discussing whether or not to issue Sunday liquor licenses for package stores in the Town of Middleborough, for the Sunday before Thanksgiving and each Sunday thereafter until New Year’s Day. Anyone interested in being heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated." The hearing was opened.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the Board has done this in the past during the holiday season.

Hearing no other comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED: To allow package stores to open on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and each Sunday thereafter until New Year’s Day, and to incorporate the rules as specified by the ABCC.

Unanimous Vote.

Meeting with School Committee – RE: Reuse of M.J.H.S.

Superintendent Walsh and members of the School Committee were present.

Mr. Healey explained that Town Meeting had issued a bond, subject to State funding, to renovate the M.J.H.S. for a pre-kindergarten/early education center and administrative offices.

Mr. Healey said it doesn’t appear likely that the Town will "get reached" on the State list. The discussion tonight is to make some decisions, "while there is still a building". The choices are to move forward with a $15 million project, or abandon this idea and find another use, private for elderly housing, or public, such as a police station.

George Simmons, Chairman of the School Committee, said that a 79% reimbursement has been secured from the State. The estimated cost to do the building today is $10 million.

Mr. Simmons said that reimbursement would not be expected sooner than 10 years. However, the situation is not "hopeless and not never", as long as the project is not cancelled or substantially altered.

The current reimbursement rate from the State is 63%, and it is unlikely that it will ever go back to 79%, but this rate is locked in for the Town.

Mr. Simmons explained that more space is needed for kindergarten. He said the space at the LDL School is too small. Space is also needed at the Mary Goode School for phys ed and art and music.

Mr. Simmons said there is also an increased number of pupils. He said the increase at the high school did not happen this year as had been predicted. He said there may be an increase next year. He said the increases have occurred in the lower grades. He said there is no doubt that more instructional space will have to be acquired.

Mr. Simmons said there will never be "cheaper instructional space" available, if $10 million is invested in the M.J.H.S. He said he could not imagine that the open market price would be paid for the building.

Dr. Walsh told the Board that there are currently 316 full day kindergarten students, and two (2) classes of ½ day. She said another classroom could not be added, even if there was additional staff, because of the lack of space.

Dr. Walsh said today’s market calls for smaller class sizes. There are currently 23 students in each of the kindergarten classes.

Dr. Walsh said there is a lack of adequate space for the kindergarten programs to move forward. There are no computer labs, no library and no kitchen area. She said there is an immediate need for space there.

Selectman Eayrs acknowledged the need for space, but noted that he did not see $10 million this year to renovate. He asked what was being done to keep the structure from continued decline.

Dr. Robert Sullivan told the Board that some work has been done on the building. A new roof was put on the ‘old building’ in 1998. About 300 slates on the side roof were also replaced. Some gutter work had been done. He said there is no leaking in the interior of the ‘old building’.

Dr. Sullivan said that the gym and cafeteria part of the building is getting a lot of use, and there is no signs of leaking there.

The Washburn unit has a new roof and gutter system. He said the windows were done by the School Department in the mid 1990s.

Dr, Sullivan said the are problems with the windows in the old building, and the brick work needs some work. He said the brick in the Washburn unit is fairly good. The gym shows no signs of deterioration.

The heating system in the gym and cafeteria is new, having been done in the fall of 2001. The boilers in the 1927 building are over 20 years old and in average condition.

Dr. Sullivan explained that the maintenance staff is housed in two (2) lower classrooms of the 1927 building. The heat is adjusted each day.

The gym and cafeteria are constantly used.

Selectwoman Brunelle said it was obvious that the School Committee feels the building has a useful life in the future, and is not interested in relinquishing control of the building.

Chairman Perkins asked if it would make more sense to use the $10 million towards a new building.

Dr. Walsh said that growth is occurring in different areas. She also said the Town would never again see 79% reimbursement.

Selectman Eayrs said serious consideration must be given to the renovations without waiting 10 years to do it. He noted that, regardless when the work is done, the State will reimburse at some point.

It was noted that the State has been known to drop funding once it has been given.

Mr. Healey said the Town would have to carry 100% of the cost for a 10 year period.

Discussion ensued on what would happen to the LDL and School Street Schools.

Mr. Simmons said they would still be used, initially, to relieve some of the pressure at the Mary Goode School.

Selectman Rogers said he did not feel the School Committee was cognizant of the costs involved. He said he supports preschool, but also feels that people should pay for it. He said the reuse of the building has great merit, but something has to be done.

Mr. Simmons said the Committee is not urging the project to go forward right now. However, the Committee does not want to "give up the building". He also said that something could change on the State side. He suggested that, taking necessary steps to retard the deterioration, would afford the Town to wait five (5) more years. Then funding would be five (5) years before reimbursement.

Mr. Healey asked if additional space would still be needed with the renovation of the M.J.H.S.

Dr. Walsh said that is very likely.

Mr. Healey asked if a proposal would be coming from the School Committee for the next budget cycle.

Dr. Walsh said that the Committee wants to look at all buildings, including the Flora Clark School. The Nichols School is designed for 1100 students. There are currently 1000.

Dr. Walsh said she would like to meet with representatives of the Board and the Finance Committee between now and the Spring to review the buildings and the needs.

Harry Pickering said the Board needs to "think in terms of the whole Town". He said adults could also use the building as a socialized place. Teenagers could also use computers and be tutored.

Jeff Stevens, Principal of the LDL and School Street Schools, said that anyone who has expressed interest in full day kindergarten has been accommodated.

Selectman Rogers suggested a Committee be formed to look at the school building needs and to come up with funding to do a study.

Resident Tom White, Susan Lane, said that the School Committee "doesn’t care about finances". He noted that "everybody walks out" of Town Meeting after a School Department issue has been discussed. He suggested expanding the sub-committee to other townspeople.

Resident George Mosley said that "our children deserve the best". He said the middle school was money well spent. He suggested that outline areas are growing, and there may be a future need for neighborhood schools.

 

Chairman Perkins asked the School Committee to contact the Board when it is ready to form the building committee.

Mr. Simmons said the Committee is ready anytime the Board is.

NEW BUSINESS

Request to Appoint Representatives to Plymouth-Carver Aquifer Advisory Committee

Chairman Perkins explained that this advisory committee is being reactivated by SRPEDD. Members will be include representatives from Plymouth, Carver, Wareham, Bourne, Plympton, Kingston, and Middleborough.

Upon motion by Selectman Rogers and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED: To appoint Chairman Perkins, Selectwoman Brunelle and Ruth Geoffroy as the Town’s representatives.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Appoint Board Members – Council on Aging

Six (6) applicants applied for two (2) positions on the Council on Aging’s Board of Directors.

Ted Lang said all applicants are Middleboro residents and are perfectly acceptable. He noted that Ann Holmes and Betty Murphy were present at tonight’s meeting. The Board of Directors did not have a specific recommendation.

Selectman Wiksten said the decision was a difficult one because of the amount of applicants. He said he could only speak for the ones that he knows. He noted Ellen Grant has and intense interest and the motivation to be on the Board of Directors.

Upon motion by Selectman Wiksten and seconded by Selectman Rogers, the Board

VOTED: To appoint Ellen Grant to the COA Board of Directors.

Unanimous Vote.

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle the Board

VOTED: To appoint Betty Murphy to the COA Board of Directors.

Unanimous Vote.

Chairman Perkins thanked all who applied and urged them to remain active in the COA.

 

 

Request for Additional Dates – Nemasket River Productions

Chairman Perkins read a letter from Merrie Mizaras requesting additional dates for a weekend production of A Lion in Winter. She noted that the first weekend of the performance had been cancelled because of illness.

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED: To allow Nemasket River Productions to rent the Town Hall Auditorium on Friday, November 28th and Saturday, November 29th, for a weekend production.

Unanimous Vote.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she approved as long as the custodian was paid at the appropriate rate. She noted Friday is a holiday for Town employees.

OLD BUSINESS

Discussion of Landfill

Mr. Healey told the Board that he had met with Don Boucher, Sandy Bernier and Judy MacDonald, and had provided the additional information that they had requested last week.

He noted that comments were made last week that funds needed to be raised to fully implement the bulky item fees. He said the fees will be implemented as instructed by the Board, but noted that certain resources weren’t available.

Mr. Healey said the fees will require the "theft of one more person from the DPW" to work at the Landfill.

Chairman Perkins said he spoke with Peirce Trustees, and they have indicated a willingness to help with some of the items needed.

Selectman Eayrs said he was concerned, even with the generous donation, of the annual cost of $178,000 to run the program. He said he realized these were estimates, but was upset that the Board was contemplating this type of increase with budget shortfalls. He said he was also concerned with collecting a fee and not properly disposing of the item.

Mr. Healey said he has not been able to quantify the revenue from the other items. He said the savings will be in the space at the Landfill. This will allow space for "payable waste". This will generate significant revenues to offset other costs associated with the Landfill.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if there was any alternative for the additional personnel. She said there is one (1) person on light duty at the DPW, and asked that he possibly be transferred to the Landfill as a gate attendant.

Mr. Healey said this would require the janitorial position at the Town Hall and Bank Building to be backfilled.

Selectwoman Brunelle and Don Boucher reviewed the list of items that are currently being disposed of, and charged a fee for.

Mr. Boucher noted that there are presently items that are not charged a fee for, but require offsite disposal. He also said the fees that are charged are not appropriate for the costs to dispose of them.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the Landfill does not currently charge for large furniture and rugs and padding. These are disposed of offsite.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she was not opposed to increasing fees for those items that we currently charge for. She suggested finding other ways to work around items that we don’t’ currently charge for, until a Town Meeting is held. She said the problem is the funding. An estimated $55,900 will be taken in.

Mr. Boucher said the Town is presently losing a lot of money. All of the materials are currently being handled. By charging fees, the Town is not making a huge amount of money, but will help decrease the deficit. The fees are costs to handle the items.

Selectman Wiksten noted that the estimate of $178,000 is factoring additional costs, such as personnel, that are not needed to start right now. He said the equipment costs about $19,000 and will be paid by the Peirce Trustees. Delete the costs of additional personnel, and the figure becomes $97,100. About $55,900 will be taken in fees. He said this is a far cry from the original amount thought necessary to implement it. He said, by delaying, the Board is going backwards from what the WMAC wants.

Mr. Healey said the figures given to the Board are for the annualized budget to fully implement the program. He said it is not intended to represent what it will cost to do the initial step of imposing the fees. He said, taking in payments at the Landfill, will require the transfer of an individual. He said Donnie and he would decide how to do this as it is an administrative decision. He said additional labor costs would not be incurred until it was fully implemented.

The Board was told that Town Counsel has indicated that a revolving account for the bulky fee items can be established by Town Meeting vote.

Selectman Eayrs said additional personnel was ridiculous, noting that current employees may have to be laid off. He said he had no problem if this could be done through a transfer and donation from the Peirce Trustees. He also said the contracted services would not be needed immediately. The increased charges would be more appropriate fees what we already take in.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she was still concerned with getting back only half the cost of what it would cost for the disposal.

Mr. Boucher said that the Town would be getting air space, which is a much greater value.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she was also concerned with charging to dispose of something and not disposing of it. She said the Town would be charging for "air space".

Selectman Eayrs said that space has a value at the Landfill. He said that time, effort and labor are used to haul away an old mattress, and this is a service that the resident is getting. He said he no longer opposed charging a fee for this.

Chairman Perkins said that the WMAC and Highway Superintendent have recommended these fees. He said he has not heard a compelling argument that makes sense not to implement the fees on December 1st.

Selectman Eayrs asked if an additional vote was necessary.

Chairman Perkins said the Board had already voted to implement the fees on December 1st.

Selectman Rogers said he was glad that the recommendations of the WMAC were going forward. He said they are scheduled to provide final recommendations by March 2004.

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

Sachem Street Paving Agreement

Mr. Healey gave the Board information on the paving that was done on Sachem Street by Bill Byrne. No formal action has been taken on this matter. A proposal has been discussed to waive Earth Removal Permit Fees for Mr. Byrne in payment for the work done on Sachem Street.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if a 1099 Form would have to be sent to Mr. Byrne. She asked if a bartering agreement would be considered income.

Chairman Perkins suggested asking Town Counsel.

Selectman Wiksten said the issue is that an additional 250’ was done by Mr. Byrne at a cost of $5500. He said this is a huge improvement which has helped with a drainage problem. He said he had no problem incorporating the additional monies into the Agreement. He said Mr. Byrne saw this problem and fixed it.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked what would happen if the current Earth Removal expired.

Mr. Healey said the site is capable of going on for 15 years.

Selectman Wiksten said that the gamble was on Mr. Byrne’s side. He said the project is done and the money has been expended. It should now be worked out through Earth Removal Fees.

Selectwoman Brunelle said it was important that Mr. Byrne understand this. She was concerned that he would look for an alternative agreement or waiver if another Earth Removal Permit was not issued.

Chairman Perkins said he had seen the problem on Sachem Street, and was glad that Mr. Byrne had fixed the problem. He said he wished he had gotten prior approval for the additional 250’.

Mr. Healey said the additional paving would add about two (2) years of Earth Removal Permit Fees being waived.

The original Agreement would have provided waivers for 62% of the cost. The additional amount and waivers would equal 95%.

Selectman Wiksten recommended that the Board cover the expenses of the paving of Sachem Street.

Selectman Eayrs said the barter arrangement is subject to interpretation. He agreed that Mr. Byrne had taken care of the problem because he felt it should be done. He noted that the waivers are based on eight (8) 9-month years.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she did not disagree, but asked if other businesses would be treated the same.

Selectman Wiksten said he would consider waiving fees on any Earth Removal Permit that does not do any work for three (3) months.

Jeanne Martin, a resident of Sachem Street, thanked Mr. Byrne for fixing the road.

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED: To amend the Agreement with Mr. Byrne to include an additional $5500 in waived Earth Removal Fees for an additional 250’ of paving on Sachem Street.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Schedule Hearings

The Board authorized Mr. Healey to set up hearing dates for issues with Class 2 License dealers and three (3) Earth Removals projects.

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED: To pay the bill submitted by Collins, Loughran & Peloquin, P.C. in the amount of $2,867.50.

Unanimous Vote.

OTHER

Discussion ensued on the progress at the Washburn Mill property.

Selectman Eayrs suggested inviting Mr. Costello in to meet with the Board.

Selectman Wiksten said that Mr. Costello plans to start his project this week.

Selectman Eayrs said he would "like to hear it from him". He said, in light of the fire in Pawtucket, communication needs to be made to enlighten the Board as to what he plans to do.

Mr. Healey said demo work was promised months ago. An engineer or architect have not been hired to go before the ZBA on December 4th.

Selectman Wiksten said that it is not known whether or not an engineer or architect has been hired.

Mr. Healey said he spoke to Mr. Costello a week and a half ago. Last Friday Mr. Costello indicated that he doesn’t want to go before the ZBA.

Selectman Wiksten suggested Chairman Perkins contact Mr. Costello and report back to the Board.

Selectman Eayrs asked what the problem was in asking him to come before the Board.

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED: To invite Mr. Costello to meet with the Board within the next two (2) weeks to discuss the status of the Washburn property.

Unanimous Vote.

Selectman Eayrs also asked about the "Eagles" building, and what progress Mr. Medeiros has made.

Motion was made by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle to ask Mr. Medeiros of his intentions for the property located at 25 Wareham Street.

Discussion ensued.

Selectman Wiksten asked if the Board would go after all decrepit buildings in Town. He noted that the property on Wareham Street is privately owned.

Selectman Rogers said he thought Mr. Medeiros had been scheduled to go before the ZBA.

Mr. Healey said no date has been scheduled.

Selectman Eayrs amended his motion, seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, to have the Building Commissioner contact Edward Medeiros to ask for an update on the project at 25 Wareham Street. Unanimous Vote.

CORRESPONDENCE

Mr. Healey said there is only one buildable lot, which is adjacent to the Soule Homestead. This is now part of their Lease.

Mr. Healey suggested that the property could be explored for a well site.

Chairman Perkins said that water is a viable alternative, and this area would be part of an aquifer with Carver.

 

 

Upon motion by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED: To enter into Executive Session, not to return to Open Session, for the purpose of discussing Litigation and a Grievance.

A poll vote was taken. Selectman Rogers, Selectman Wiksten, Selectman Eayrs, Selectwoman Brunelle and Chairman Perkins approved.

VOTE 5 – 0

 

 

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN